‘Modern Family’ actress Julie Bowen and sister, renowned medical researcher, come to woman’s aid in Utah outback

From right, actress Julie Bowen, Utah tourist Minnie John, and Dr. Annie Luetkemeyer, Bowen's sister. Photo courtesy John, used with permission

MOAB, Utah, Aug. 8, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A New Jersey woman fulfilled a longtime dream of visiting Moab last week, and added bonus bragging rights with an unlikely celebrity encounter — one that not only involved a famous actress, but also her sister, a physician and noted medical researcher.

Minnie John, of Oradell, New Jersey, traveled 2,133 miles to the west with husband Shaji and son Brandon, and shared her adventure with Facebook friends in an Aug. 3 post.

“Let me tell you about my wild and crazy adventure as we headed out to one of my longest desired visits to Arches National Park in Moab, Utah,” John wrote in posts she agreed to share with Gephardt Daily readers. “Definitely on my bucket list for a very long time since I have been traveling all my life.”

John, an avid traveler, also posted photos and videos she also agreed to share. She described feeling overwhelmed by the climb to see Delicate Arch.

Minnie John (right) poses with family members at Arches National Park. Photo courtesy John, used with permission

“It was such a treacherous climb much more than anything we imagined but sheer determination or absurdity made me want to climb as a woman in my late 50s and one who has an artificial knee, who has never walked much since my surgery, I felt the need to climb,” she wrote.

“It was just rocks we were climbing at this point almost an hour and a half long.”

John made it nearly to the top, but could go no further, she wrote.

“I was light-headed, felt like I was going to faint so I sat down on the rock you see me sitting here. Shaji and Brandon insisted they stay with me but I could not stand anymore. I would not forgive myself if we had to go back down without seeing this site after coming so far. I sat on the trail by the side as people climbed up and down and insisted on them going and seeing it and coming back to me.”

Delicate Arch, Arches National Park. Photo: Minnie John, used with permission

John sat, head in hands, she said.

“Next thing I hear someone with a familiar voice kept asking me questions,” she wrote. “I wondered if I might be watching TV. My eyes were closed and they said I will be fine and they were cleaning my face and bandaging me up. I heard that familiar voice saying I am going to be OK, a doctor is cleaning me up. After so many more questions and sticking gooey things in my mouth, giving me electrolytes, they lifted me up as I opened my eyes and set me back on that rock, that face looked so familiar again and I asked her again if I knew her or was she famous and the doctor said ‘yes.’

“As my eyes started to focus more, she smiled and took her hair tie off and shook her hair for me to figure out. Her sister the doctor asked me to guess and I told her I just hit my head, I can’t remember. She said smiling ‘Modern Family’ and I said of course! I told her she was so beautiful.”

Actress Julie Bowen, who played Claire Dunphy on “Modern Family” during its full run, 2009-2020, was one of John’s rescuers. The other was Bowen’s sister, Dr. Annie Luetkemeyer, a graduate of Harvard Medical School and a Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the University of California, San Francisco.

“They explained to me that the guide who was with them, saw me fall forward splat on my face,” John wrote. “My glasses broke my fall flat down, hitting my head on the flat rock breaking my skin on various areas near my nose. They had everything to clean up my wounds and set me up.”

The two retrieved John’s phone and called her son, Brandon, to return to his mother.

“Such wonderful men and women, selflessly giving of themselves!,” John wrote. “God bless them!

“God is with you every moment in your life. He knows your inner desires and however you choose your movements, He never leaves you! The guide who was with the two famous sisters saw me fall forward. At the right time with no delay He sent the doctor and helpers. He restored me with sound mind and a joyous meeting with my helpers. They were so caring and loving to stop like the Good Samaritan does in the Bible! They were God sent! It was no accident they were there.”

New Jersey resident Minnie John shared photos of herself before and after treatment for a fall in Moab earlier this month. Photos courtesy: John

Bowen and Luetkemeyer gave John, who is diabetic, electrolytes, medicines and pretzels with peanut butter, her account says. John wrote she believes she passed out because of low sugar and dehydration.

John Facetimed with her doctor son Erick, who directed her to go to the hospital in Moab for stitches and a bandage for her broken nose.

John’s Facebook account thanked her doctors and nurses.

“They truly are superheroes! And those celebrities are awesome human beings too! Love you Julie and Annie and now I have become famous for one minute for my antics!”

Minnie John and actress Julie Bowen. Photo courtesy John, used with permission

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